My sweet 10 month old is teething. Many, many parents have endured this in history. It’s a phase and it passes….but this day I was tired.
It had been the I-don’t-even-remember….tenth night in a row that my little guy was up every 1-3 hours of the night. Last night was especially bad as he cried for nearly an hour straight and my back felt like it could break at any moment as I did the death march in his room trying to soothe him back to sleep…
Morning came. An escape from the dimly lit quietness of my baby’s nursery. Time to tackle the day – heavy eyes, dark circles, mombie-look and all.
My to-do list overwhelmed me, my baby smothered me, my toddler talked my ear off and my lack of energy made me feel like a defeated woman. I was so tired that my vision was blurry!
I desperately texted my mother to vent…how am I supposed to do this? My patience is almost non-existent and my baby and my toddler daughter deserve better. I felt sorry for myself. I wanted to wave a white flag and surrender.
And don’t forget the resentment I felt toward my husband who gets a much better sleep every night! (Not his fault…baby prefers mama at night.)
I laid on the couch and nursed my baby (probably more for myself than for him) and debated staying there all day, except I had to entertain my toddler who was pulling at me to come look at her artwork. Baby can just nap with me on the couch all day. I’m tired and I deserve some down time!
Then something magical happened.
My baby did not want a nap. He wanted to play, explore, try new things. Much of what a 10-month old should be doing. My daughter didn’t want to watch tv she wanted to pretend she was the queen and I was the evil magician.
Wait, why would that be magical, Jovi? Wouldn’t that just make you even more irritable and annoyed???
No. My kids seriously snapped me right out of my funk.
This time with them is precious and fleeting. They’re only little once and it’s my job to teach them, comfort them, love them, play with them, protect them and encourage them.
I’m so tired because I’m a good Mom. I’m a mess because I’m giving so much of myself to my family and my home. My baby is learning immensely, my toddler is developing into the sassiest smartest little person and I am providing opportunities for their brains to develop and their personalities to flourish! Why would I want to miss that?
The day ended up being good! We tried new foods, went for a walk in the stroller and explored the great outdoors, played together, went out for dinner with daddy. I got some stuff done that I wanted to do that day but MORE-so I didn’t just feel sorry for my exhausted blurry state, I embraced the moment, the fleeting moments that are childhood. Thank you, babies!
These moments are the moments we look back on. I can’t wait to tell my kids about these days when they goes through them themselves. To comfort them then, as I do now. To let them know they’re not alone and these times will not only pass, but they will help them grow into even more amazing people than they will be already be.
I shouldn’t be feeling bad for myself, I should be proud of myself. I need to stop seeing things from my “gotta-do-it-all” perspective. WE ALL DO! All of us hard-working mamas (parents)! Maybe I can even see myself in my husband’s eyes….who thinks I’m beautiful and thanks me for all I do and for being who I am. Instead of saying “I’m fat” or “I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to” in response to his compliments, maybe I should give myself a pat on the back!
Moral of the story: When you catch yourself feeling defeated and unproductive, think of why you’re feeling this way. You feel this way because of all you have already accomplished because you are superwoman. You are superhuman!
Also, don’t forget to take care of yourself. I’m in the thick of it and I can see how easily self-care slips through the cracks, but every part of your life benefits from you being well taken care of. Can’t take care of anyone if you’re not taking care of yourself.
High five to all the sleep-deprived, stained-shirted, blurry eyed, overwhelmed, deeply-madly-in love parents out there.